Halloween: a day most commonly celebrated by children who dress in costume and solicit candy or other treats door-to-door. Get ready, because this Thursday, from late afternoon to well after dusk, the streets of Staten Island will be lined with children and their parents, adorned in costume and chiming the phrase, “trick or treat!”
All season long, Staten Island parks, businesses and organizations have been busy hosting fall events, all celebrating the harvest and leading up to October’s most popular day, Halloween. Chances are, you’ve already participated in some of the festivities, including costume parties, pumpkin carving and decorating, hay rides, apple picking, scarecrow building, or perhaps even a corn maze tour.
However, the Halloween events on Staten Island aren’t over yet, nor are these events just for kids. There are plenty of events taking place this Thursday that will appeal to the much older, and braver, “kid at heart.” For those interested in getting some “thrills” on Halloween night, look no further than Staten Island’s North Shore for some haunted attractions and scary sights.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
According to many scholars, Halloween (aka All Hallows’ Eve) derived out of Celtic harvest festivals and festivals of the dead. It was believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.
Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island (FACSI) Cemetery Tour: There is no better way to get a thrill on Halloween night than to spend the evening on a tour of the largest abandoned cemetery in New York City. According to FACSI’s director, people have been reporting activity of the same five spirits for over 35-years at Fountain Cemetery, located in West Brighton. As a FACSI fundraiser, the cemetery tours will tell the stories behind who these alleged spirits are, and after the tour, visitors will be allowed to hold their own hunt on the cemetery grounds.
The 8-acre cemetery opened in 1799 and was the site of a Revolutionary War skirmish as well as a Native American burial ground. Civil War Veterans, as well as Veterans from 1812 are also buried there. Perhaps you’ll “run into” the Native American spirit or the War of 1812 Veteran who are rumored to walk the grounds…
There is an admission fee for this tour, which is scheduled for 6:15pm and 8:00pm on Halloween evening. Contact the Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries at SICemetery@gmail.com or at 917-545-3309 for more information.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center Paranormal Adventure: Staten Island’s North Shore welcomes back the creators of Scared! (link: www.neverstopsearching.com), Chris (supernatural fiction writer) and Brian (tech specialist of SyFy’s Haunted Collector) to Snug Harbor Cultural Center, an alleged paranormal hotspot.
Over 200 years ago, Sailor’s Snug Harbor served as a port for thousands of sailors who would have otherwise been forgotten. But their stories live on, and on Halloween night, you’ll get a chance to not only learn about the seamen and those who cared for them, but you’ll also investigate for yourself if the spirits of Snug Harbor’s former residents (including the founder) still walk the grounds.
At this event, participants will learn about current paranormal theory and concepts while hearing stories of true hauntings. The night ends with an investigation of the cultural center’s grounds, where participants will get to see and use actual tools used in the field.
For more information and to get tickets for this event, go to Snug Harbor’s website at www.snug-harbor.org.
A Haunting We Will Go: Join the City of New York City Parks and Recreation before dusk on Halloween evening for one more kid-friendly event, A Haunting We Will Go. Fun for all ages, this event will take place at Cedar Grove Avenue at Waterside Street from 3:30-5:30pm. Come out and enjoy various Halloween crafts, haunted events and games. There will also be a costume contest.
For more information, visit the NYC Parks Department website at www.nycgovparks.org.
The Halloween House: Lastly, every resident of the North Shore neighborhood of Westerleigh knows what I’m talking about when I mention the Halloween House, located at 278 Caswell Ave. For years, this family has decorated their home in anything and everything spooky, and even puts on “Live Action Shows” featuring favorites such as Michael Myers, Pinhead Freddy Kruger, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Chucky. Your Halloween isn’t complete unless you visit this house at some point during the season. If you’re looking to get spooked but aren’t into running into some real ghosts, join hundreds of other North Shore residents and visit the Halloween House this Thursday.
Needless to say, no matter what you’re in the mood for, there is no better day than Halloween to get out and meet your neighbors. If you do get out there, chances are, candy isn’t the only thing you’ll come home with at the end of the day. Perhaps you’ll run into some old friends, spend time catching up with a neighbor, or even meet someone new who lives down the block.
Either way, if your Halloween adventures take you through Staten Island’s North Shore and you happen to see any homes for sale that interest you, I’d be glad to meet up with you, (but I wouldn’t be able to tell you if they were haunted or not).
There are two kinds of real estate professionals…those who understand the emotional and financial complexity of selling a home…and those who don’t.